Natural non-supplement treatments for Traveler's tummy / diarrhea - Aspire Natural Health

Natural non-supplement treatments for Traveler’s tummy / diarrhea

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We see a decent number of people who’s digestive issues began during foreign travel…

If you’re traveling, I recommend you put together a traveling first aid kit.

But let’s say you get caught without your probiotics on a trip and come down with traveler’s tummy, here are some recommendations with things that should be reasonably available with a trip to a market.

While some people recommend going straight to antibiotics I do not, assuming you are healthy and the diarrhea isn’t too severe. Natural methods work just fine the majority of the time, and let us save antibiotics for use when the situation requires them.



First and foremost, don’t stop the diarrhea – it’s a protective mechanism. If you’ve picked up a bug and you stop diarrhea, you stop your body from flushing it out, and it could make you much sicker! No one likes diarrhea, but in this instance it’s a good thing.

Please note: If you have blood in your stool or are experiencing severe diarrhea, or become very dehydrated, seek medical attention. Diarrhea is usually not a serious thing, but can be life-threatening in the wrong situation.



The most important thing with diarrhea is to remain hydrated, as dehydration is the most dangerous thing about diarrhea.

Plain water, assuming it is clean – when in doubt boil or use other means to sterilize – is fine if the diarrhea is mild. But if it is more significant purchase or make your own oral rehydration solution (ORS).

The recipe is:

  • 32oz clean or sterilized water
  • 6 teaspoons sugar (yes you need the sugar, don’t leave it out, plain white sugar works best)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Sip water or ORS throughout the day and make a special effort to consume some after every bowel movement.



I recommend staying away from heavy (fatty or protein rich) and spicy foods. Fast if you’re not hungry or consider the following:

  1. Rice congee – White or brown rice. Take 1 cup rice, add 6-9 cups water (6-9 parts water to 1 part rice). Bring water to a boil, add rice, turn down to low and cook covered for an hour or so until soft. Cook longer if necessary. Eat as desired.
  2. Bananas / Plantains / Apples / Apple sauce – Bananas or plantains can be mashed and eaten as desired. Apples are best blended into apple sauce or cooked until soft. Too much fruit can cause diarrhea so don’t go overboard and eat more then 4-5 pieces of fruit in a day. Eat as desired either along with or in place of rice congee.



Your secret weapon which you should be able to get at a market. Try to get the best quality you can, but in a pinch, get whatever you can.


‘Soothing’ Spices

  1. Cinnamon – my favorite for diarrhea. Also settling to the stomach, and antimicrobial all by itself. Can be added to congee and fruit (bananas, plantains, apple sauce) or made into a tea. Depending on your tolerance, 1 Tablespoon to a cup of boiling water will make a strong, therapeutic tea. You may need to sweeten with a little sugar or honey. Drink as much as desired, at least 3-4 cups a day.
  2. Fennel, Anise, Cardamom, Ginger – These spices will all work very well as well, so if anything in particular calls to you or is available, use it. Again 1 tablespoon to a cup is a strong, therapeutic tea. Sweeten as needed and sip or drink. 3-4 cups daily or as tolerated.


Antimicrobial spices

  1. Garlic – my other favorite and a tremendously versatile herb / food. If your stomach is very upset, it’s probably best to wait until it’s not. Then eat as much garlic as you are able. Yes it will make you stink like garlic. Yes it helps kill unwanted pathogens. Raw will be most potent. If cooking, cook lightly. If the bite and pungency of the garlic is gone, so are most of it’s therapeutic properties. If necessary, chop and mix with honey. It’s best to have other food with it so as not to upset your stomach.
  2. Cloves & Oregano – other nice commonly available antimicrobial herbs. If you can take it at 1 tablespoon per cup of water (3 Tablespoons if fresh oregano), do so, though it will be very strong. You might want to mix with a little honey, and in cloves case mix with cinnamon as it can cause some cramping. Drink 2-3 cups day or more if able.

If you’re in a place where parasites are a real possibility, consider getting screened for parasites when you get home.


At Aspire Natural Health we are experts at helping people suffering with digestive issues and autoimmunity.

Are you looking for help?

Email us at or call us at 425-202-7849.

The first step of our process is to see if we’re a good fit for one another. If we are, we’ll talk about next steps. If not, that’s okay, and we’ll do our best to help you find the right person.
Everything is no-obligation and no-pressure, so you don’t have to worry. You have nothing to lose!

Call us at 425-202-7849 or email us now!


Photo attribution –

Another Interesting post:

Highlights from the Ancestral Health Symposium 2013 (AHS13)